Northern Connections

Partner Testimonial - Falkirk Council

04 February 2019 - Published by Anne Katrine Arentsen

Falkirk Council area is being transformed. From a past reliance on heavy industry, Falkirk is recognised for its commitment to the future, to new economic partnerships and prospects in manufacturing, chemical sciences and logistics, in new service industries and in attracting tourists to the area. This ambition is galvanised through partnership. Engaging with Partners in the Northern Connection project is key to this.

The area’s transformation is well known. The Falkirk Wheel and The Kelpies provide internationally recognised symbols of change. Situated between the cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh within the heart of Central Scotland, Falkirk’s location provides many clear advantages. Falkirk is the location of one of the UK’s largest chemical sciences clusters, the largest Scottish exporting freight port and a critical logistics hub. The principal cluster area for these activities is the town of Grangemouth where our particular strength in petrochemicals needs to be reinforced through innovation and co-location, developing and attracting smart, greener technologies and in building complimentary business in renewable, sustainability and supporting services. With a cluster of knowledge there is an opportunity in Grangemouth and Scotland to create new areas of excellence.  This is not without challenge.

Falkirk Council and Scottish Enterprise are the Scottish Partners involved in the Interreg Northern Connections programme and have identified a number of opportunities for European collaboration as part of the Northern Connections project.

Living Lab Event in Scotland 
The theme of the Scottish Northern Connections Living Lab project was established as carbon capture and utilisation (CCU), identifying opportunities for exploiting innovative technologies. Being part of the Northern Connections programme with Scottish Enterprise is important to Falkirk Council in allowing development of the CCU Living Lab challenge opportunity. Both partners are proactively engaged within the project to develop this challenge but also to collaborate with and consider participation in other Northern Connection Partner Living Lab challenges. This new collaboration has been critical to developing transnational connections. Project participation is enabling wider positive Partner engagement in collectively setting policy and transnational innovative support, presenting opportunities for new collaboration, SME engagement and shaping investment and policy recommendations. 

Northern Connections adds value 
Working with Northern Connection partners through structured Work Package participation and engagement in key project outputs and themes is enabling Falkirk Council, with Scottish Enterprise to contribute to the development of bespoke transnational policy and the evolution of a suite of innovative best practice support for SMEs and clusters. Furthermore, participating in the series of Transnational Events is supporting development of our political engagement, partner collaboration and SME cluster support in line with Falkirk’s boarder economic strategy objectives. Falkirk Council’s participation within Northern Connections contributes to our area’s significant particular carbon reduction challenges within the context of future investment policy.